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Pelvic Washing and Cancer Cells

From the GYN Cancer Articles List

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What is pelvic washing?What is pelvic washing?


A pelvic wash, also called peritoneal washing cytology, or PWC, is a procedure in which the pelvic cavity is irrigated ("washed") to check for cancer cells that have migrated beyond the cancer’s point of origin. Fluid is instilled into the abdominal cavity and washed around the abdominal organs, then withdrawn and analyzed for the presence of abnormal cells. A positive result may indicate that the cancer has begun to spread (metastasize).

Some doctors believe the presence of stray cancer cells in the pelvic wash is meaningful, while others do not. If you do not know if a wash was performed during your surgery, look for the word “cytology” on your report or simply ask the doctor or nurse to check the detailed report for you. Most oncologists do perform at least one wash during surgery.

If you do get a positive result for cancer cells in your pelvic wash, do not panic. Most doctors will recommend radiation therapy in such a case, and the radiation will most likely take care of any stray cells remaining in your abdomen.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

08-21-2011 - 09:58 PM


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Find a Surgeon

HysterSisters Doctor Directory
Clifford Rogers, M.D.
The Everett Clinic, Dept. of Surgery and Gynecology
1330 Rockefeller Ave, Suite 120
Everett WA 98201
425 339 5424
Susan D. Hunter, M.D.
626 Ed Carey Dr
Harlingen TX 78550
956-428-4868
Katherine Hsiao, M.D.
3905 Sacramento Street, Suite 204
San Francisco CA 94118
415-876-8500
John Miklos, M.D.
3400 Old Milton Parkway
Bldg. C, Suite 330
Alpharetta GA 30005
770-475-4499
Aarathi Cholkeri-Singh, M.D.
120 Osler Drive
Ste. 100
Naperville IL 60540
630-428-2229
Caren C Reaves, M.D.
Caring for Women
2805 S. Mayhill Rd
Denton TX 76208
940-591-6700
Jennifer Elliott, M.D.
980 Johnson Ferry Road
Suite 720
Atlanta GA 30342
(404) 252-3898
Ken Sinervo, M.D.
1140 Hammond Dr., Ste. F6220
Atlanta GA 30328
770-913-0001
Lori Warren, M.D.
3900 Kresge Way
Suite 30
Louisville KY 40207
502-891-8700

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